Joaquin Castro: ‘Most Democrats’ Will Vote Against Bill Helping Dreamers if It Includes Border Wall Funding

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas) told MSNBC host Kasie Hunt on Sunday that he is "optimistic" a compromise can be made on a bill to help so-called "Dreamers," but believes most Democrats in Congress will vote against a bill that includes funding for a border wall.

Hunt referenced Sen. Tom Cotton's (R., Ark.) comments from earlier in the morning and asked Castro about whether negotiations over a legislative replacement for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration amnesty program were "falling apart."

"Well, I'm still optimistic that the Congress can come to some kind of compromise on DACA, so that we can make sure that 800,000 young people–most of whom have only known the United States as their home–are not subject to deportation," Castro said

"I'm still optimistic about that. I think we have to be optimistic about it," Castro added. "I've heard discussion about a border wall, but bear in mind that this is no longer a matter of convincing the American people to do something for the DACA kids–83 percent of Americans support DACA relief."

Hunt followed up by asking Castro if there were any circumstances in which Democrats could accept a border wall in exchange for helping the Dreamers–a possibility frequently cited by President Donald Trump and Republicans who argue for more comprehensive immigration reform that includes measures for border security. She then asked if he believed the government should be shut down over the issue.

"I think that's going to be a very tough deal for the president to make. we don't want to trade the lives of 800,000 people for a wall across the United States. And bear in mind also, again, that the majority of American people and the majority of people in Texas, for example, did not support President Trump's border wall," Castro said.

Hunt pressed him on the possibility of a compromise.

"I want to ask you, sort of one more time. Do you think that Democrats should withhold votes from a bill to help dreamers if it includes funding for the wall?" Hunt asked.

Castro said DACA should be handled with a clean bill, one not tied to the border wall funding or other measures.

"I will certainly vote against it, and I know most Democrats will vote against it," Castro said. "I can only speak for the House of Representatives, of course. In the Senate, they have different rules and it's a different matter, but I would suspect that you will have the overwhelming majority of Democrats vote against it, yes."